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Westlake Legal Group > Chris Ciaccia

Some whales ‘whisper’ to their calves to evade predators

Along with dolphins, whales are widely considered the smartest mammals in the sea, having developed brains and behavior that suggest intelligence and sophistication rarely seen in nature.

But a new study theorizes that some species of whales have taken that intellect to a new level — by “whispering.”

The research, published in the Journal of Experimental Biology, suggests that female southern right whales “whisper” to their calves to avoid being overheard by killer whales.

Westlake Legal Group right-whale-northern Some whales 'whisper' to their calves to evade predators fox-news/science/wild-nature/mammals fox news fnc/science fnc Chris Ciaccia article 99700524-1427-56a4-9d4a-3345619c1e9b

A female North Atlantic right whale with her calf. (Credit: Public Domain)

HUMPBACK WHALE FREED FROM SHARK NET OFF AUSTRALIA COAST IN DIFFICULT RESCUE, VIDEO SHOWS

Researchers used multisensor tags on nine lactating whales for approximately 63 hours in a Western Australian breeding ground, using SoundTrap to estimate the acoustic background noise and were astonished by what they heard  — or barely heard.

“It was difficult to assign the calls to either the calf or the mom, because they are so close to each other,” the study’s lead author, Mia Nielsen, said in a statement. Even though southern right whales calves are between 16 and 26 feet long (5 and 8 meters), they are vulnerable to attack, placing an importance on keeping a low profile when predators are near.

Whale calls are usually audible for miles, but the moos and grunts of the female southern right whales were barely audible over the pounding waves, often at very low decibel levels and less frequent then usual.

Nielsen, who said that one of the initial challenges was understanding the whales in the area, noted that these mammals are “very physical with each other,” including actions such as the calf rubbing up against the mother. This made it difficult for the tags to stay attached to the calves for longer than 40 minutes.

“We conclude that such acoustic crypsis in southern right whales and other baleen whales decreases the risk of alerting potential predators and hence jeopardizing a substantial energetic investment by the mother,” the study’s abstract states.

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Westlake Legal Group right-whale-northern Some whales 'whisper' to their calves to evade predators fox-news/science/wild-nature/mammals fox news fnc/science fnc Chris Ciaccia article 99700524-1427-56a4-9d4a-3345619c1e9b   Westlake Legal Group right-whale-northern Some whales 'whisper' to their calves to evade predators fox-news/science/wild-nature/mammals fox news fnc/science fnc Chris Ciaccia article 99700524-1427-56a4-9d4a-3345619c1e9b

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Mysterious carnivorous dinosaur likely walked on a single toe

Talk about a balancing act.

Paleontologists have uncovered a new species of dinosaur that lived 90 million-years-ago in modern-day Brazil with an almost unheard-of characteristic: it balanced its weight on a single toe.

Known as Vespersaurus, this bipedal carnivorous walked upright on both legs using its three-toe feet, but shifted its weight almost entirely to one toe, judging by fossilized footprints discovered in the 1970s.

Westlake Legal Group monodactyl Mysterious carnivorous dinosaur likely walked on a single toe fox-news/science/archaeology/dinosaurs fox news fnc/science fnc e1367ee5-3797-57ad-b9ee-66c19a71597e Chris Ciaccia article

Factfile on the carnivorous theropod dinosaur, adapted to the prehistoric desert conditions of southern Brazil 90 million years ago. (Credit: Phys.org)

THE BIGGEST DINOSAUR TO EVER WALK THE EARTH JUST WANTS TO TEXT YOU

“Such anatomical adaptation is formerly unrecorded among archosaurs, but has been previously inferred from footprints of the same stratigraphic unit that yielded the new dinosaur,” the study’s abstract reads.

“It’s incredible that, nearly 50 years later, it seems that we have discovered what type of dinosaur would have produced those enigmatic footprints,” said Paulo Manzig of the Paleontology Museum of Cruzeiro do Oeste in a statement.

It’s unclear at this point how Vespersaurus, which belonged to the same group of dinosaurs as the Tyrannosaurus and Velociraptor, benefited from being a monodactyl, but the trait does exist in animals today, most notably kangaroos.

The entire fossil of Vespersaurus was just over five feet in length, a far cry from its larger cousin, the T. rex, which reached up to 40 feet in length.

FOSSIL OF ‘REAL-LIFE LOCH NESS MONSTER’ FOUND IN ANTARCTICA WAS THE BIGGEST SEA DINOSAUR EVER

It was found in the northern part of Parana, which had a dry and arid climate during the Cretaceous period, similar to today’s deserts. As other dinosaurs have been found in the area, it’s possible there are more discoveries to be made in the region.

“It is a rich but little explored area that would surely bring great news to the world of paleontology,” Neurides Martins of the Paleontology Museum of Cruzeiro do Oeste, added in the statement.

The study was published in the scientific journal Nature Scientific Reports.

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Westlake Legal Group monodactyl Mysterious carnivorous dinosaur likely walked on a single toe fox-news/science/archaeology/dinosaurs fox news fnc/science fnc e1367ee5-3797-57ad-b9ee-66c19a71597e Chris Ciaccia article   Westlake Legal Group monodactyl Mysterious carnivorous dinosaur likely walked on a single toe fox-news/science/archaeology/dinosaurs fox news fnc/science fnc e1367ee5-3797-57ad-b9ee-66c19a71597e Chris Ciaccia article

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Mysterious ‘Earthquake mountain’ swallowed up by ocean, NASA images show

It was gone in a proverbial blink of an eye.

Nearly seven years after it was created by a monstrous earthquake in Pakistan, the island known as Earthquake Mountain has been swallowed up by the sea, according to newly released images from NASA.

The space agency compiled satellite images from the past six years of the island (also known as Zalzala Koh), which was created by a mud volcano and shows the isle in various stages of composition, before crashing waves ultimately caused its extinction and it returned to the sea.

Westlake Legal Group MUD-ISLAND-NASA Mysterious 'Earthquake mountain' swallowed up by ocean, NASA images show fox-news/science/planet-earth/oceans fox-news/science/planet-earth/geology fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox news fnc/science fnc dd712b11-b9fe-54d7-b803-85b7ca9867cc Chris Ciaccia article

(Credit: NASA Earth Observatory, Joshua Stevens, Robert Simmon, and Jesse Allen)

MASSIVE BLOBS OF FIRE ICE LURKS BENEATH THE OCEAN. WE KNOW ALMOST NOTHING ABOUT THEM.

When it was first created, it was 20 meters (65 feet) high, 90 meters (295 feet) wide and 40 meters (130 feet) long, causing experts to believe that it would not last long, a prediction that ultimately proved true.

“Zalzala Koh may be out of sight for now, but that does not mean it is completely gone,” NASA wrote in a blog post. “In 2019, hints of the island persist in Landsat imagery. As recently as June 2019, Landsat observed trails of sediment circulating around the submerged base.”

The government agency added that the mud volcanoes along Pakistan’s coast are caused by the movement of the Earth’s plates in the area, notably the Arabian plate, which is “sinking beneath the Eurasian plate by a few centimeters per year.” That causes soft sediments to be pushed onto the Eurasian plate and mud volcanoes are formed, as melting rock turns to magma and hot gas leaks out, eventually causing a mud volcano.

Zalzala Koh is not the only mud volcano-produced island to have formed and died in the region, NASA notes. Another mud island, Malan, has risen and been eroded four times over the past century, in 1945, 1999, 2010 and 2013.

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Westlake Legal Group MUD-ISLAND-NASA Mysterious 'Earthquake mountain' swallowed up by ocean, NASA images show fox-news/science/planet-earth/oceans fox-news/science/planet-earth/geology fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox news fnc/science fnc dd712b11-b9fe-54d7-b803-85b7ca9867cc Chris Ciaccia article   Westlake Legal Group MUD-ISLAND-NASA Mysterious 'Earthquake mountain' swallowed up by ocean, NASA images show fox-news/science/planet-earth/oceans fox-news/science/planet-earth/geology fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox news fnc/science fnc dd712b11-b9fe-54d7-b803-85b7ca9867cc Chris Ciaccia article

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NASA Hubble Space Telescope takes stunning image of galactic ‘firework show’

Ahead of the Fourth of July, NASA is showing off an impressive fireworks display that really is out of this world.

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope managed to take sublime images of a star known as Eta Carinae exploding 7,500-light-years from Earth, expanding with hot gases that are red, white and blue.

“We’ve discovered a large amount of warm gas that was ejected in the Great Eruption but hasn’t yet collided with the other material surrounding Eta Carinae,” explained lead investigator of the Hubble program, Nathan Smith, in a statement. “Most of the emission is located where we expected to find an empty cavity. This extra material is fast, and it ‘ups the ante’ in terms of the total energy for an already powerful stellar blast.”

Westlake Legal Group nasa-fourth-of-july NASA Hubble Space Telescope takes stunning image of galactic 'firework show' fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox-news/science/air-and-space/astronomy fox news fnc/science fnc Chris Ciaccia article 976a80a1-ded1-5718-acc5-a2bf7692f311

This Hubble Space Telescope image of the giant, petulant star Eta Carinae is yielding new surprises. Telescopes such as Hubble have monitored the super-massive star for more than two decades. The star, the largest member of a double-star system, has been prone to violent outbursts, including an episode in the 1840s during which ejected material formed the bipolar bubbles seen here. Now, using Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 to probe the nebula in ultraviolet light, astronomers have uncovered the glow of magnesium embedded in warm gas (shown in blue) in places they had not seen it before. (Credit: NASA, ESA, N. Smith (University of Arizona) and J. Morse (BoldlyGo Institute))

APOLLO 11’S MICHAEL COLLINS REFLECTS ON HISTORIC MOON LANDING: ‘WE WERE JUST REGULAR ASTRONAUTS’

Eta Carinae has put on the celestial show before, with NASA noting the spectacular event started in the 1840s when the star went through what’s known as a “titanic outburst, called the Great Eruption,” which made it the second-brightest star visible in the sky for over a decade.

“Eta Carinae, in fact, was so bright that for a time it became an important navigational star for mariners in the southern seas,” NASA added.

Since then, it’s faded and is now barely visible to the naked eye. Over the past 25 years, it’s been studied by every instrument on the Hubble and astronomers believe it may have weighed more than 150 Suns and it may be on the brink of total destruction.

Smith added that they had used Hubble “for decades” to study the star in visible and infrared light, but the new ultraviolet lights give it a very different look.

“We’re excited by the prospect that this type of ultraviolet magnesium emission may also expose previously hidden gas in other types of objects that eject material, such as protostars or other dying stars,” Smith added. Only Hubble can take these kinds of pictures.”

50 YEARS AFTER APOLLO 11, NEIL ARMSTRONG’S SONS DESCRIBE THE DAY THEIR DAD WALKED ON THE MOON

The newly discovered gas may be crucial to understanding how the star erupted and what might happen as it becomes a supernova and explodes. The researchers added that this event may have already happened, but the light has not yet reached Earth.

So it looks like we’ll have at least one more incredible fireworks display, courtesy of the galaxy.

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Westlake Legal Group nasa-fourth-of-july NASA Hubble Space Telescope takes stunning image of galactic 'firework show' fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox-news/science/air-and-space/astronomy fox news fnc/science fnc Chris Ciaccia article 976a80a1-ded1-5718-acc5-a2bf7692f311   Westlake Legal Group nasa-fourth-of-july NASA Hubble Space Telescope takes stunning image of galactic 'firework show' fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox-news/science/air-and-space/astronomy fox news fnc/science fnc Chris Ciaccia article 976a80a1-ded1-5718-acc5-a2bf7692f311

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Apollo 11’s Michael Collins reflects on historic Moon landing: ‘We were just regular astronauts’

For someone who has been nearly 240,000 miles above our planet, Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins is extraordinarily down-to-Earth.

Along with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, Collins was part of the most famous space exploration mission in history, but the now-88-year-old simply sees it as doing the job asked of them.

“You have to come to NASA with certain qualifications,” Collins said in an interview with Fox News. “I was an accredited pilot, which helped reduce the size of the available population. There were 18,000 applicants, and there was no way in hell I could have worked for NASA facing that kind of math,” Collins added jokingly.

Westlake Legal Group MichaelCollinsSimulatorGetty1969 Apollo 11's Michael Collins reflects on historic Moon landing: 'We were just regular astronauts' fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/topic/apollo-11 fox-news/science/air-and-space/spaceflight fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox-news/science/air-and-space/moon fox news fnc/science fnc Chris Ciaccia c4039af9-0cd6-557f-b207-470b3e935b89 article

File photo – Photograph of the pilot Michael Collins at Apollo 11 Command Module, practicing docking hatch removal from CM simulator at NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas, June 28, 1969. Image courtesy National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). (Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)

APOLLO 11 ASTRONAUT MICHAEL COLLINS REVEALS UNSEEN PHOTO OF MOON LANDING CREW HE ‘FOUND AT THE BOTTOM OF A BOX’

Born in Rome, Italy, on Halloween in 1930 to James and Virginia Collins, Michael had an unusual upbringing. As the son of a career-long Army officer, his family would move around often, stopping in places like Oklahoma, Governors Island, NY, San Antonio, Texas, and several other areas. When the U.S. entered World War II, the Collins family made their way to Washington D.C., and Michael ultimately followed in his family’s footsteps, joining his father, brother and several other family members in the armed services.

Collins graduated from West Point in 1952 with a Bachelor of Science in military science. He joined the U.S. Air Force, where he spent the better part of a decade going on various missions, before joining NASA in 1963, two years after President Kennedy gave his famous “Moon speech” at Rice University.

Despite his impressive background, Collins said being a part of the Apollo program left him feeling behind.

“We would go around to different parts of the country to where the different parts of the Apollo craft [were] being made, especially Southern California and Long Island,” Collins said, adding the astronauts did what they could to help with the machines building the craft. “It was a lot of traveling, and we were stationed in Houston, so we were always busy. I always felt a little behind and slower than we needed to be with the information we were presented with.”

“We’re just regular astronauts.”

— Michael Collins, Apollo 11 astronaut

As any history book will tell you, NASA was successful in its mission testing. On that fateful day, July 16, 1969, Collins, along with Armstrong and Aldrin, was rocketed into space as America and the world looked on. When the Eagle module landed on the Moon on July 20, 1969, and Armstrong and Aldrin became the first two men to walk on the lunar surface, the nation let out a collective cheer for the three astronauts.

“Being close to the Moon was wonderful, but looking at Earth, it was this tiny little thing, blue and white and very shiny,” Collins, who was the Command Module pilot on the flight, said. “It projected an aura of great fragility and the more you dig into it, the more you realize how fragile it really is.”

Westlake Legal Group FOX_lunar5 Apollo 11's Michael Collins reflects on historic Moon landing: 'We were just regular astronauts' fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/topic/apollo-11 fox-news/science/air-and-space/spaceflight fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox-news/science/air-and-space/moon fox news fnc/science fnc Chris Ciaccia c4039af9-0cd6-557f-b207-470b3e935b89 article

They would later become national heroes — a description that made them uneasy, especially Collins.

“We knew that we had the best test flights, and we performed them well, but heroes? No,” Collins said when asked when it finally hit them they were an inspiration to a country rocked by political and social upheaval.

50 YEARS AFTER APOLLO 11, NEIL ARMSTRONG’S SONS DESCRIBE THE DAY THEIR DAD WALKED ON THE MOON

“We didn’t do anything above and beyond the call of duty. We did what we had been hired to do,” he added. “It may have been tremendous and unusual, but I think it’s a disservice to people who are hard-working people, like nurses and doctors and the like, who deserve to be heroes. We’re just regular astronauts.”

Though he is reluctant to be called a hero, Collins does admit the three men did alter the country’s mood at a time when upheaval and unrest were as American as apple pie.

“In general, I think we brought the goodwill of Americans with us, and they flew off to the Moon with us,” Collins said. “It was something the country wanted to feel proud of, and we had a good relationship with the citizens of America.”

Westlake Legal Group fs-astronauts Apollo 11's Michael Collins reflects on historic Moon landing: 'We were just regular astronauts' fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/topic/apollo-11 fox-news/science/air-and-space/spaceflight fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox-news/science/air-and-space/moon fox news fnc/science fnc Chris Ciaccia c4039af9-0cd6-557f-b207-470b3e935b89 article

**ADVANCE FOR THURSDAY, JULY 16** FILE – In this 1969 file photo, Apollo 11 astronauts stand next to their spacecraft in 1969, from left to right: Col. Edwin E. Aldrin, lunar module pilot; Neil Armstrong, flight commander; and Lt. Michael Collins, command module pilot. (AP Photo, file)

“Being close to the Moon was wonderful, but looking at Earth, it was this tiny little thing, blue and white and very shiny. It projected an aura of great fragility, and the more you dig into it, the more you realize how fragile it really is.”

— Michael Collins, Apollo 11 astronaut

His modesty notwithstanding, Collins, along with the rest of the Apollo 11 crew, was a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom with Distinction from President Nixon in 1969 at the state dinner in their honor.

In 1970, upon being presented with the Hubbard Medal from the National Geographic Society, Vice President Spiro Agnew told the trio they had “won a place alongside Christopher Columbus in American history.”

Westlake Legal Group MichaelCollinsGetty1969 Apollo 11's Michael Collins reflects on historic Moon landing: 'We were just regular astronauts' fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/topic/apollo-11 fox-news/science/air-and-space/spaceflight fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox-news/science/air-and-space/moon fox news fnc/science fnc Chris Ciaccia c4039af9-0cd6-557f-b207-470b3e935b89 article

File photo – astronaut Michael Collins in Apollo spacesuit. (Photo by Time Life Pictures/NASA/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images)

Throughout his career, Collins received several other awards and honors for his military and space career and is a member of four halls of fame, including the International Air & Space Hall of Fame (1971), the International Space Hall of Fame (1977), the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame (1993) and the National Aviation Hall of Fame (1985).

Befittingly, Collins has a lunar crater named after him (as do Armstrong and Aldrin) and even has his own asteroid: 6471 Collins.

For all of his accomplishments, Collins does have regrets about his career, notably the fact he never walked on the Moon.

“I’d be a liar or a fool if I said I had the best seat. I did not,” Collins told Fox News. “But I was happy with the seat I did have. It was the culmination of what JFK told us to do, and by golly, we were going to do it. If I was trailing behind on a rope, sure. I wish I walked on the Moon, but, in general, I was delighted with the seat that I did have.”

‘THERE WAS A BIT OF TENSION’ ASTRONAUT DESCRIBES WATCHING MOON LANDING WITH BUZZ ALDRIN’S FAMILY

Collins is hopeful the renewed interest in space is not like previous efforts, citing involvement from two of Silicon Valley’s biggest chieftains–Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Tesla CEO Elon Musk–who are also at the helm of space exploration companies, Blue Origin and SpaceX, respectively.

Joking about how he would like a “big chunk of Musk and Bezos money,” Collins said he has been “impressed” by Bezos, having met the Amazon leader several times. While Collins has yet to meet Musk, he did note both are “a positive force on the national scene” and believes the two of them, along with the federal government, are a force for good for space exploration.

“I say to those two billionaires: Jump in and the three of you [including the American taxpayer] can do great things together,” Collins said. “I think that’s wonderful.”

Westlake Legal Group 2-Buzz-Aldrin-Collins-Armstrong-b Apollo 11's Michael Collins reflects on historic Moon landing: 'We were just regular astronauts' fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/topic/apollo-11 fox-news/science/air-and-space/spaceflight fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox-news/science/air-and-space/moon fox news fnc/science fnc Chris Ciaccia c4039af9-0cd6-557f-b207-470b3e935b89 article

In this July 20, 2009, photo, Buzz Aldrin, left, Michael Collins, center, and Neil Armstrong stand in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, on the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

When asked whether the Trump administration’s decree to return astronauts to the Moon by 2024 was feasible, Collins said no.

“I doubt the Trump statement is possible,” Collins noted. “I’m not sure he’s considered going to the Moon or Mars in any great detail.”

Collins, 88, now spends most of his time in the southwestern part of Florida. His two daughters, Kate, an actress best known for her role on “All My Children”, and Ann take care of him. He tries to keep in touch with Armstrong’s family and Aldrin but confesses he isn’t the best at it. When reflecting, Collins said he could not think of a better choice among the potential 30 candidates who were being considered for the first lunar landing crew.

ASTRONAUT DESCRIBES WATCHING THE MOON LANDING WITH PRESIDENT NIXON IN THE WHITE HOUSE

“Neil was a test pilot, flying the X-15 rocket,” Collins said. “He was close to heads and shoulders above the rest, and Buzz, in [a] similar fashion, was as well. He was a good student and a Ph.D. from MIT who did his doctoral dissertation in rendezvous and docking, so he fit right into the things that NASA was looking for.”

“If I were picking two out of that 30, I couldn’t think of anyone who could quite equal them. It was a wonderful selection,” Collins added.

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Westlake Legal Group MichaelCollinsSimulatorGetty1969 Apollo 11's Michael Collins reflects on historic Moon landing: 'We were just regular astronauts' fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/topic/apollo-11 fox-news/science/air-and-space/spaceflight fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox-news/science/air-and-space/moon fox news fnc/science fnc Chris Ciaccia c4039af9-0cd6-557f-b207-470b3e935b89 article   Westlake Legal Group MichaelCollinsSimulatorGetty1969 Apollo 11's Michael Collins reflects on historic Moon landing: 'We were just regular astronauts' fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/topic/apollo-11 fox-news/science/air-and-space/spaceflight fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox-news/science/air-and-space/moon fox news fnc/science fnc Chris Ciaccia c4039af9-0cd6-557f-b207-470b3e935b89 article

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Mars may have hosted life earlier than Earth did, study says

A new study suggests that life may have existed on Mars hundreds of millions of years prior to its emergence on Earth.

The Red Planet may have been ripe for life as early as 4.48 billion years ago, after “life-inhibiting meteorites stopped striking the planet,” according to the study. And it’s possible that life could’ve thrived between 4.2 billion and 3.5 billion years ago, according to comments made by the study’s lead author, Desmond Moser.

“Giant meteorite impacts on Mars between 4.2 and 3.5 billion years ago may have actually accelerated the release of early waters from the interior of the planet setting the stage for life-forming reactions,” Moser said in a statement. “This work may point out good places to get samples returned from Mars.”

Westlake Legal Group life-on-mars-study Mars may have hosted life earlier than Earth did, study says fox-news/science/planet-earth fox-news/science/air-and-space/mars fox news fnc/science fnc Chris Ciaccia article 122566dc-0d41-5f10-a2ca-7d3579407852

Tiny igneous zircon grains within this rock fragment were fractured by the launch from Mars but otherwise unaltered for more than 4.4 billion years. The images was taken with an optical polarizing compound microscope Western’s Zircon & Accessory Phase Laboratory. (Credit: Desmond Moser, Western University)

MYSTERIOUS WHITE LIGHT ON MARS SEEN IN NASA PHOTO

The study analyzed some of the oldest known Martian minerals, looking at zircon and baddeleyite grains seen in Martian meteorites, utilizing electron microscopy and atom probe tomography.

Westlake Legal Group mars-2-Reuters Mars may have hosted life earlier than Earth did, study says fox-news/science/planet-earth fox-news/science/air-and-space/mars fox news fnc/science fnc Chris Ciaccia article 122566dc-0d41-5f10-a2ca-7d3579407852

The planet Mars showing Terra Meridiani is seen in an undated NASA image. REUTERS/NASA/Greg Shirah

“[Ninety-seven percent] of the grains exhibit weak-to-no shock metamorphic features and no thermal overprints from shock-induced melting,” the study’s abstract reads. “By contrast, about 80 [percent] of the studied grains from bombarded crust on Earth and the Moon show such features. The giant impact proposed to have created Mars’ hemispheric dichotomy must, therefore, have taken place more than 4.48 Gyr ago, with no later cataclysmic bombardments.”

NASA PICKS LANDING SPOT FOR MARS 2020 ROVER IN HUNT FOR ALIEN LIFE

Mars is generally assumed to have formed approximately 4.6 billion years ago and Earth soon followed, approximately 60 million years later. Life is generally assumed to have first appeared on Earth approximately 3.5 billion years ago.

The research was published earlier this week in the scientific journal, Nature Geoscience.

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Westlake Legal Group U5Ws8AHMqEhcRnu6KDSxZi Mars may have hosted life earlier than Earth did, study says fox-news/science/planet-earth fox-news/science/air-and-space/mars fox news fnc/science fnc Chris Ciaccia article 122566dc-0d41-5f10-a2ca-7d3579407852   Westlake Legal Group U5Ws8AHMqEhcRnu6KDSxZi Mars may have hosted life earlier than Earth did, study says fox-news/science/planet-earth fox-news/science/air-and-space/mars fox news fnc/science fnc Chris Ciaccia article 122566dc-0d41-5f10-a2ca-7d3579407852

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Uranus’ rings have a ‘warm’ glow and astronomers aren’t sure why

Astronomers have uncovered that Uranus’ rings have a “warm” glow to them, a trait that’s befuddling them.

The images, released by the University of California Berkeley and taken by the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) and the Very Large Telescope (VLT), show the lack of dust-sized particles in the rings, aiding their ability to reflect light, making them unlike the rings that other planets have, such as Saturn or Jupiter.

“Saturn’s mainly icy rings are broad, bright and have a range of particle sizes, from micron-sized dust in the innermost D ring, to tens of meters in size in the main rings,” said Berkeley professor Imke de Pater in a statement. “The small end is missing in the main rings of Uranus; the brightest ring, epsilon, is composed of golf ball-sized and larger rocks.”

Westlake Legal Group uranusrings635 Uranus' rings have a 'warm' glow and astronomers aren't sure why fox-news/topic/uranus fox news fnc/science fnc Chris Ciaccia article 31f11727-de85-5566-93fa-7c8ea7f3fa80

Composite image of Uranus’s atmosphere and rings at radio wavelengths, taken with the ALMA array in December 2017. The image shows thermal emission, or heat, from the rings of Uranus for the first time, enabling scientists to determine their temperature: a frigid 77 Kelvin (-320 F). Dark bands in Uranus’s atmosphere at these wavelengths show the presence of molecules that absorb radio waves, in particular, hydrogen sulfide gas. Bright regions like the north polar spot (yellow spot at right, because Uranus is tipped on its side) contain very few of these molecules. (Credit: Edward Molter and Imke de Pater)

JUPITER’S POLES SHOWN HEATING UP IN INCREDIBLE NASA IMAGE

Jupiter’s rings have micron-sized particles and Neptune’s rings are largely made of dust, but Uranus’ rings are largely dust-free, even if dust does exist between the main rings.

“We already know that the epsilon ring is a bit weird, because we don’t see the smaller stuff,” Berkeley graduate student Edward Molter added in the statement. “Something has been sweeping the smaller stuff out, or it’s all glomming together. We just don’t know. This is a step toward understanding their composition and whether all of the rings came from the same source material, or are different for each ring.”

In addition to capturing the images, the VLT also let scientists measure the rings’ temperature, coming in at a bone-chilling -320 degrees Fahrenheit.

The pre-published research is available to read on the arXiv website.

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Mysterious large mass discovered on Moon bewilders scientists: ‘Whatever it is, wherever it came from’

A large mass of unknown material has been discovered on the largest crater on the Moon and scientists aren’t sure what it is.

According to an April 2019 study published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, the researchers believe the mass could contain metal from an asteroid that crashed into the celestial satellite, which resulted in the aforementioned crater, known as the Lunar South Pole-Aitken basin.

“Imagine taking a pile of metal five times larger than the Big Island of Hawaii and burying it underground. That’s roughly how much unexpected mass we detected,” lead author Dr. Peter James, assistant professor of planetary geophysics at Baylor University, said in a statement.

MYSTERIOUS LIGHT FLASHES ON THE MOON HAVE BEEN BAFFLING RESEARCHERS FOR DECADES

At roughly 1,550 miles in diameter, the Lunar South Pole-Aitken basin covers approximately one-fourth of the Moon’s surface, according to NASA. The Moon’s circumference is roughly 11,000 kilometers.

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This false-color graphic shows the topography of the far side of the Moon. The warmer colors indicate high topography and the bluer colors indicate low topography. The South Pole-Aitken (SPA) basin is shown by the shades of blue. The dashed circle shows the location of the mass anomaly under the basin. (Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/University of Arizona)

In addition to being the largest crater on the Moon, the Pole-Aitken basin is also one of the largest known impact craters in the solar system and is thought to be approximately 4 billion years old.

James and his team looked at data from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission and the changes in gravity they discovered surprised them.

“When we combined that with lunar topography data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, we discovered the unexpectedly large amount of mass hundreds of miles underneath the South Pole-Aitken basin,” James said. “One of the explanations of this extra mass is that the metal from the asteroid that formed this crater is still embedded in the Moon’s mantle.”

The anomaly – “whatever it is, wherever it came from,” James added – is weighing down the basin floor by more than half a mile. The team of researchers ran computer simulations that show the iron-nickel core of an asteroid could have been placed into the upper mantle of the Moon following impact.

EXOMOONS COULD BE HOME TO EXTRATERRESTRIAL LIFE, RESEARCHER SAYS

“We did the math and showed that a sufficiently dispersed core of the asteroid that made the impact could remain suspended in the Moon’s mantle until the present day, rather than sinking to the Moon’s core,” James noted.

One other possibility for the unexplained mass is that it could be an area where dense oxides compiled following the last stage of lunar magma ocean solidification.

Whatever it is, James said the basin is “one of the best natural laboratories for studying catastrophic impact events, an ancient process that shaped all of the rocky planets and moons we see today.”

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Apple WWDC review: Everything that was announced

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Apple held its annual developer’s conference, where it made some big and unexpected announcements that will shape the company’s future.

“Your dreams and your passion and dedication to fulfill those dreams show up in the apps you create,” CEO Tim Cook said kicking off the event. “You make the world a better place.”

Jumping right into the announcements, Cook showed off updates to tvOS, the operating system that runs Apple TV. It will get multi-user support, letting everyone in the home get personalized recommendations, Cook said. Additionally, it will also gain support for the Xbox One S and PlayStation 4 Dual Shock controllers, song lyrics for Apple Music and new screen savers.

APPLE REJECTS GOOGLE CEO’S CRITICISM OVER PRIVACY BEING A ‘LUXURY GOOD’

Cook handed off the keynote to Kevin Lynch, who showed off the new updates coming to watchOS, Apple’s OS for its Apple Watch. In addition to Apple Watch getting support for new watch faces, the watch faces will get support for new complications, what Apple calls tasks.

The biggest announcement concerning the Apple Watch is that apps will now be able to run independently, “no longer requiring a companion iPhone app,” Lynch said. Users will be able to download apps directly on the Watch straight from the App Store.

Apple is placing an increased focus on users health and fitness, with the Apple Watch a key for Apple. Activity trends are part of the new watchOS, letting users see activity over various time periods to see if they’re trending up or down.

Dr. Sumbul Desai, the former executive director of Stanford Medicine’s center for digital health, who Apple hired in 2017, also showed off a new noise app to let people see how loud the sound is that is coming out of their device.

Menstrual cycling tracking is also getting built into the Apple Watch and Health app on iOS devices, Dr. Desai said. She said it’s a “simple, discreet way” to track the cycle and log fertility and get a fertility window notifcation. Given that a person’s health data is extremely private, Lynch said that the data would be stored on the person’s device or encrypted in iCloud.

Lynch also introduced new Apple Watch bands, including a new “Pride Edition” band.

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This story is developing…

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Apple is killing off iTunes, reports say

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Just a few months after it became an adult, Apple is killing off one of its most controversial creations.

Launched January 9, 2001, the tech giant is set to end its music and movie media player, iTunes, according to Bloomberg. The move, which will be announced at Apple’s developer conference, had been widely expected, given the rise of streaming services, including Apple Music and its soon-to-be-launched Apple TV+.

The brainchild of Steve Jobs, iTunes ushered in an era where it made it easy to access music legally. Users could pay as little as 99 cents for a song or a similar amount for an episode of a TV show or movie, but it had outlived its usefulness. Over the past several years, there were a seemingly endless string of complaints from users about its cluttered nature, the amount of computing power it took to run the program and other concerns.

APPLE WWDC PREVIEW: HERE’S THE NEW STUFF THAT’S COMING

To replace iTunes, Apple will launch three new apps for the Mac, Music, TV and Podcasts, bringing it in line with Apple’s strategy for iOS devices, which already have dedicated Music, TV and Podcast apps.

Apple has already wiped the iTunes’ social networking accounts clean. Both the Instagram and the Facebook page still exist, but all the posts have been deleted.

As Apple looks to smooth out its revenue and focus more on services, it has turned the focus towards initiatives such as Apple Music, which has more than 50 million paying subscribers and lets users access more than 45 million songs for $9.99 a month.

In addition to getting rid of iTunes, Apple will announce several new updates to its operating systems, including iOS, macOS and watchOS. New health features are expected to be incorporated into iOS and watchOS, including a revamped Health app that will let users know how loud they are listening to music or movies on their device or headphones.

Apple’s mobile operating system is tipped to add dark mode, easing the strain on users’ eyes and increasing battery life.

Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple will make these announcements and more when its keynote address starts at 1 p.m. EST.

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Fox News’ Brooke Crothers contributed to this report.

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